The murder of George Floyd, as everyone knows, was only a pretext for the riots that have now taken several lives and caused billions of dollars in property damage. Their seeds were planted decades ago. And now the question before us, if we wish to preserve the United States as a free society, is what must be done to address the deeply rooted problems that got us into this fix in the first place.
No, I don’t mean “systemic racism” or any of the other Leftist talking points making the media rounds these days. As many have noted, Americans fought a civil war to end slavery and have a longer, fuller record of legally fighting racism than virtually any other country in the world. “White privilege” is a Leftist myth designed to sow distrust and division, as well as shame at the nation’s culture and heritage.
But there are deep systemic problems. One is the Left’s long march through the institutions, which began in the 1960s and has ended in total victory: The Left controls the establishment media, the educational system, the corporate culture, the entertainment industry, and more. Richard Nixon was complaining about the biased press coverage of his campaign for Governor of California in 1962 when he said “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore,” but the propaganda machine that did him in was just in its infancy then.
Now, decades later, no one bats an eye when Democratic Party operatives such as George Stephanopoulos and Donna Brazile, and a host of others, go into the “news” business. It is taken for granted that every reporter for every major publication, every one, is a hard-Left ideologue.
This has consequences far beyond simply giving only one side of the story and doing everything possible to make President Trump look as bad as possible. Government and law enforcement officials at all levels today have no problem appearing at functions of groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which the media consistently portrays as a “civil rights” organization when its agenda is in fact deeply subversive.
But they would never be caught dead at a conference of a group opposed to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women, and if they did have the temerity to show up at such a gathering, they would have to answer to a hysterical media lynch mob enraged at their appearing at a meeting of a “hate group.”
And that’s just one very small aspect of the problem. The Leftist stranglehold on the educational system is another. Our children have been taught to hate the land of their birth. Who didn’t think this would bear bitter fruit? There was some indignation among conservatives over the 1619 Project, which portrays the entire American enterprise as racist, oppressive, and hateful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, but that was just the culmination of decades of miseducation and propaganda disguised as education.
The education most of the rioters have received has made them abjectly incapable of thinking rationally and evaluating claims on the basis of their logical coherence and supporting evidence. It doesn’t matter that the claims that the rioters and their defenders are making are false. It doesn’t matter that police brutality affects people of all races. It doesn’t matter that thoroughgoing civil rights legislation has made “systemic racism” a thing of the distant past.
No amount of careful reasoning, no amount of evidence is going to convince most of the rioters that their rage is based on false premises, because they have been carefully educated throughout their lives to feel rather than think, and to believe that America is a nation of deep injustice with a shameful history and an equally condemnable present. The rioters know this because they have been taught it all their lives by virtually every authority they have encountered, and those authorities have also taught them that those who tell them otherwise are stupid, contemptible, and operating out of ulterior motives.
If all this isn’t rolled back, the calls for revolution will get louder and shriller, and eventually prevail. Can it possibly be done? Not all at once. But one step that could be taken now is the stripping of all federal funding from all universities and colleges that suppress all points of view that dissent from the Leftist line. Another is a thoroughgoing reform of primary and secondary school material, such that it once again tells the truth about our nation, which will naturally make students proud to be American.
PBS and NPR, as just two more Leftist propaganda mills, should also lose all federal funding. Let them survive on their merits if they can. And as for the rest of them, the legal protections that all the social media giants to maintain a monopoly on the means of communication must also be taken away. The self-appointed guardians of acceptable speech must be swept aside. Let the people determine for themselves who is telling the truth and who isn’t.
And as for the entertainment industry. Turn it off. Or watch movies from the 1940s and 1950s (which are better than the new ones anyway). If John Cusack and Robert de Niro want to lecture their audiences with hate-filled socialist agitprop, turn them off. If enough people did this, they’d feel it – and maybe a clever entrepreneur will arise in Hollywood who will realize that there is a great deal of money to be made from people who don’t want Leftism and anti-Americanism shoved at them in every movie.
These are just a few general notes. There is much, much more that must be done. And none of this is even on the table now. If the nation is to survive, however, it must be done. This fight isn’t over. And if the riots have shown us anything, it is that free Americans face a ruthless and determined foe. We must be no less resolute in the defense of truth and justice.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.